(Cavan) asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce the total amount of grants actually paid to all branches of Messrs. Potez Ltd.; the maximum employment estimated by the company when these grants were applied for; and the present employment in the company.
Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Messrs. Potez Ltd.
With regard to grants paid to the two Potez companies set up in this country, Potez Industries of Ireland Limited at Galway and Potez Aerospace Ltd. at Baldonnel, I would refer the Deputy to the comprehensive information which I gave to the House, in reply to questions, on 24th October last. No further grant payments have been made since then.
The maximum employment envisaged in the applications for grants in respect of these two companies was 700 in the case of the Galway factory and 1,700 at Baldonnel.
The factory at Baldonnel has been closed since August last when a liquidator was appointed. The factory at Galway is still in the hands of a receiver and I understand that the number of workers now employed there is 18.
Could the Minister tell me if the State have recovered any of their money from those people?
That is a separate question. This question relates to grants.
It is a very big question.
asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if an arrangement is being entered into with IAWS to take over Potez Aerospace; if so, the purpose for which this factory will be used; and the number of people likely to be employed.
A number of firms have been negotiating with the liquidator in regard to the establishment of alternative projects for the Potez factory. These negotiations are the function of the liquidator and it would be inappropriate for me to make any statement on the matter.
Does the Minister see an early prospect of something happening in this industry? Are any of the negotiations nearing completion or is there any prospect of employment there?
It would make a lovely rest home for defeated Ministers.
I will say this much to the Deputy. There seems to be a concentration by the Opposition on something which appears to be a failure. We will have an industry there. We do not accept it is a failure.
You accept nothing.
Why not concentrate instead on all the successful industries we have?
You have not yet accepted your defeat in the referendum.
Could the Minister reply to my supplementary question?
All I can say in reply to the Deputy is that there are negotiations going on at the moment but it is not possible for me to say what their result will be.
I asked if there was any prospect that those negotiations will end some time in the near future?
I cannot say that. Negotiations are proceeding.